Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘nautical clothing’

Archival field trip – (capsule) NYC

January 19th, 2014

Archival is in New York for (capsule) this week.   Nicole and I/Lesli spent the Saturday before the show checking in on a few favorite shopping haunts.  Our best find of the day was a navy duck, Engineered Garments Service Coat (half off at Nepenthes). Winter seems to be the time for sample sales and generous store discounts.  Armor Lux (my staple for stripes) is selling a large batch of made in France, cotton nautical tops for $39/each.   Here are a few low res snaps from our day trip.  More reports to come from (capsule) proper.  The full Archival team of Tom, Lynn, Nicole and Lesli will be assembling tomorrow to set up for the show.

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Archival Stripes: Columbiaknit Tees

May 4th, 2011

Archival Clothing loves stripes. We love striped sweaters, shirts, jackets, caps and scarves. On any given day, we might be wearing multiple, mixed stripe layers in a single ensemble. While we stock Saint James nautical tops from France, we wanted to produce our own striped shirts in the USA.

This Spring, we’re offering new striped cotton crewneck tees in short and long sleeve styles. Like our scarves, the shirts are produced for us by Columbiaknit, a Portland (Oregon) company who has been making sturdy cotton garments since 1921. The new shirts are made of a terrific, stout yet soft cotton jersey with chain-stitched neck tape, cover-stitched collar seam, and double needle sewn hem. The tees boast a perfect fit – slim, but not tight, designed by our friend Jordan Sayler of Winn Perry. We’re offering a generous size range from XS to XL to fit both men and women.

The shirts pair well with our new striped Columbiaknit scarves.


Archival Clothing Resolutions 2011

January 1st, 2011


Yesterday, I revisited our Archival Resolutions from last year. In 2011, I’m going to begin by focusing on resolution #9. I will tweak my signature uniform: Danish nautical on the top, cone denim and loafers on the bottom. I’m also taking a cue from #4 and plan to shop more often from myself. My first purchase will be a nautical striped Armor-Lux wool beanie that for some reason I haven’t worn in two years.

For review, I’m republishing our original resolutions:

1. Decide that quality matters and pay for it. In the end, it will save you time and money.

2. Before you buy, be selective. Scrutinize items for build quality, fit, finish, functionality and lasting style. If an item is not perfect, catch and release it.

3. Do more with less. Add a few key pieces to your wardrobe and wear them until they dissolve.

4. Shop from yourself and from thrift shops. Repurpose strategic items from the past.

5. Support apparel companies that manufacture their products in the US. Buy products still
proudly made in their traditional country of origin.

6. Contact manufacturers and let them know what they should offer. If you’re a woman and you love classic heritage styles, ask them to offer their products in your size.

7. Find out what products are manufactured in your region. Visit factories and publish reports.

8. Wear wool and linen year round. Experiment with summer weight woolens, and heavier linens.

9. Come up with a signature uniform. Wear it once a week.

10. Read historical newspapers and magazines. Learn about lost brands, fashions, and manufacturing traditions.

Kodak No. 1 Circular Snapshots via the National Media Museum flickr photostream.

Archival Knitwear: Saint James Matelot

September 20th, 2010
Saint James Matelot in rare Gray/Charcoal combination

Part of the pleasure of the Archival Clothing enterprise is to source and sell hard to find items. In the distant past, I used to spend weeks tracking down a bag or jacket or bike part before ordering it from an obscure or overseas vendor (most often by phone, not online). For example, in the early 90s, I would order French Saint James knitwear sweaters directly from Upland Trading Company in New York. I was always looking for non-stock styles or color combinations that were pictured in the print catalogs but not available in the U.S.

Saint James Matelot (navy stripes on ivory field)

I’ve always worn the Saint James Pont, a fine stitch nautical sweater that has a terrific, slim fit and great, seasonal color variations. It fits me better than the Binic, a looser fitting sweater designed for gents. One of our Saint James reps, Sarah K., introduced me to the Matelot, a style I had originally overlooked since most U.S. stockists (including JCrew) only sell the Binic. Now I prefer the Matelot for the robust quality of the wool, the uber slim fit and the full body striping. Originally designed for the French navy, the Matelot is a seaman’s sweater with a looped round collar and a dense body with fine one-by-one rib knit. It has a wonderful long snug fit. There is a button placket on left shoulder. The original Matelot is designed to fit snugly to keep out the wind and damp during maritime voyages.

Button placket on left shoulder

The pure wool used for the Matelot is among the best quality we’ve seen on a contemporary sweater. It’s thick enough to be a substantial layer without being too warm to wear all day. The Matelot has also become one of Tom’s favorite garments. Since the sweater is unisex, women can wear it as well as gents. We carry the sweater down to a size XS (refer to sizing charts in our shop) but we can special order XXS for slimmer men and petite women. I just ordered a XXS Matelot for myself in Medoc, a stunning tomato paste red.

In addition to standard Saint James colorways for this sweater (navy white, white/navy), Archival Clothing was able to secure a limited production run of Matelot sweaters in light gray with dark charcoal stripes, a color no longer available. Check our web shop for size and color availability. We also carry other Saint James items including the Pont sweaters, wool caps and cotton and wool scarves.

Arrow, Caitlin and Mac (sporting non-archival footwear)

Sheet music for your sweater (via Pillpat)

Please email info@archivalclothing.com if you do not see the size/color combination of Saint James item you wish to order. We can also help with sizing information.

The Middy

September 5th, 2010

by Tom Bonamici



“For out of door sports like tennis, golf, etc., loose fitting garments which will give free play to all the parts of the body are very necessary. The middy with unconfined waist line makes a very appropriate garment for this purpose. The middy is especially popular at the summer resort, but it is hardly suitable for wear in a business office.”

School Sewing Based On Home Problems, Robinson, 1916


I never gave too much thought to the middy, but I just picked up a perfectly fitting US Navy-issue middy in a thrift store. It’s a solid dark navy, without any trim – I think it’ll be wearable. Anything made out of a dense, mid-weight wool has my attention, so I can handle the big flappy collar. It’s a great garment for ladies and gents alike.





Thanks to Lizzie Adams Bramlett for the historical Middy pattern images. For a full essay on the history of the Middy, please visit FuzzyLizzie.

Archival Knitwear: Devold of Norway

October 11th, 2009

Devold Blue Marine sweater w/zip

Devold Blue Marine sweater w/crew neck

Devold Nansen sweater w/high neck

Devold Islender Sweater

I love the look of SNS Herning knitwear, but if you’re looking for economical Scandanavian woolens for your Polar ice-cap expedition, try Devold of Norway.

I’ve been using Devold Aquaduct baselayers for cycling for years. In colder conditions, and in the rain, I prefer wearing mattress layers of Devold plus a light wind vest. I’d rather get damp than overheat in a fully sleeved shell. Off the bike, worn with the neck unzipped over a few baselayers, the Aquaduct layers makes me feel like one of the central characters is Fanny and Alexander.

For arctic conditions, I recommend one of Devold’s Blue Marine (Blaatroie) sweaters. Worn by North Sea fisherman of some era, the blue marine sweaters are knit from pure new wool using tightly knit worsted yarns. The sweaters are super durable (non-pilling) and work well for wear under waxed cotton jackets or vests. What I like best about the Blue Marine series is that they retain their original/vintage styling save for the modern addition of a Norwegian flag patch. But here’s an example of one Devold nautical model I would not purchase from the past.

Devold Blue Marine w/zip and pockets

While I prefer shopping from the 19th century, Devold is offering a few “modern” tech woolens that I might like to try. I’m a little unsure about the overarching look of this “Optimum” hoodie but I do like the use of the grid patterning and thumb loop holes. The optimum might make a nice addition to my post-apocalyptic layering system:



Archival Commerce: St James Nautical Sweater

May 2nd, 2009



For interested parties, I’m looking to sell a vintage, St. James nautical sweater I errantly purchased on ebay. Item is in beautiful condition. However, I should have checked actual measurements for the item against the title description which indicates that the sweater would fit a large child or small woman. My description would say that this sweater would fit a larger, taller woman or a gent (garment is on the long side). Here is the original listing for the item on ebay including actual measurements for the garment (which I should have read). I’ll launch an actual ebay auction next week. But I’d sell it to an interested party for 50.00 w/shipping. Send me an email through my profile if you’re interested. This will be a temporary post on the blog.

Archival News: Brittany Boutique Sale

January 20th, 2009
Bachi hat

St James Meridien

St James Matelot

St James Contenin

St James Binic

Sailcloth smock

Sailor trousers for women

Espadrilles (for men and women)

For those wishing to embellish their “nautical grunge” look, the Brittany Boutique, my favorite French source for affordable, stylish nautical clothing (namely, St James Pont style sweaters), is having a sale. Super limited availability, as far as I can tell.